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John Patterson Retires

Chico may have more on this later, so I'll keep it a bit on the brief side: A sad but perhaps not unexpected end to a once promising career of a Nationals starter: righthander John Patterson retired today, ending a struggle of more than two years to return from chronic pain in his forearm, a condition for which he underwent two surgeries.

Patterson told MLB.com's Bill Ladson of his decision after being unable to maintain pain-free baseball activities. He started a throwing program a month ago and wasn't able to consistently pitch before abandoning the comeback.

Patterson's best season of a three-team career -- with the Diamondbacks, Expos and Nationals -- came in 2005, when he went 9-7 with a 3.13 ERA across 31 starts. He started only 15 games combined the next two seasons, then was released by the Nats in spring training last year after consistently being roughed up by his early opponents.

By Cameron Smith  |  January 7, 2009; 4:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's always sad to see a career end early, IMO, particularly for a young player with so much potential.

One of my fave Nats memories is being at RFK on the day of Patterson's complete game shutout of the Dodgers in August of 2005.

I wish him well in his future endeavors, whatever they may be.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 7, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Let's just hope we aren't going to be reading the same story next year about Shawn Hill.

I wonder if all the haters are about to jump on saying Bowden is an idiot for not haveing traded Patterson in '05...

Posted by: estuartj | January 7, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Hope not, though the thought had occurred to me as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 7, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Out scooped by Ladson by 3 hours. Embarrassing. Maybe you want to subscribe to a RSS feed...?

Posted by: jctichen | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that Ladson can report and drag the WaPo writers on his coat tails at the same time.

Posted by: jctichen | January 7, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? You can't go 3 hours without knowing that John Patterson retired? Really? There might be some things to complain about to the writers, but this ain't one of em.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Wow! Out scooped by Ladson by 3 hours. Embarrassing. Maybe you want to subscribe to a RSS feed...?

Posted by: jctichen | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM

Posted by: phishisgr8 | January 7, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously? You can't go 3 hours without knowing that John Patterson retired? Really? There might be some things to complain about to the writers, but this ain't one of em."

Posted by: phishisgr8 | January 7, 2009 5:14 PM
***************************************
No, the point is we didn't HAVE to go 3 hours without knowing John Patterson had retired because it was found and posted here by a commenter long ago. Then it gets posted here as if we didn't already know about it.

The point, for me, is that this is a blog. Blogs are not newspaper articles. The sole reason for having a blog is that they are instant and they are conversational. If you can't be instant, at least be converstional.

The Washington Post, one of the top newspaper organizations in the country, should have the same, or better, source that Bill Ladson has and should get the stuff OUT. Fast.

But if you can't get it out fast, talk about something else nobody else has. Be more curious about stuff. At least for the blog. Because I know I have a lot more questions or comments about about this than Patterson's last great ERA. I can get that anywhere.

I'm not talking about hard-hitting investigative reporting either. I'm talking about, for example, "you may have already heard that John Patterson has retired. Here's what I think is interesting about it." Or "I don't have the answer to x and y questions but I'm curious about them." or even "what's your favorite John Patterson memory?" if you got nothin' else.

My complaint Chico, is that you seem to be treating this blog like it's an extra article to be submitted and you're writing everything as if we don't know.

Trust me. The people reading this blog are also reading Ladson, also reading your articles, reading each other, and probably a dozen other articles elsewhere. Instead of regurgitating all these official articles, make it more conversational.

You don't have to be the scooper here. You just need to talk baseball with us.

Okay, rant over.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 7, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm relatively certain that it is easy to be scooped when the guy who scoops you is the one who received the phone call. I'm sure that Chico is very concerned about the retirement of a former National. As a matter of fact, Chico was also scooped on the retirements of Rock Raines, Andres Gallaraga and Rusty Staub, all former members of the Expos/Nationals organization. Shame on you, Chico.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | January 7, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

oops. except Chico didn't do this one. sincere apologies for the slight Harlan, but the overall sentiment stands.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 7, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is wrong with you people? How much are you paying for this? If you don't like the quality of information on this blog, and there are better blogs out there, READ THEM INSTEAD! I don't know how you guys came to believe you deserved the inhumane level of effort that Barry Svrluga put into this beat.

"WaPo Coverage sucks", "Lerners are cheap", "Chico's a bum". There you go, that's 10 posts worth of comments right there. Oh right, "Bowden is a little mix of Bush, Cheney, and Palin, just not as smart". That pretty much covers it. Why don't we just attach those comments to the end of EVERY blog post so we can get them out of the way? It'd save you guys tons of time.

Posted by: Section406 | January 7, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"The point, for me, is that this is a blog. Blogs are not newspaper articles."

No, they're not. They're fodder to be excerpted and printed the next day in the print edition as if they're actual journalistic content, which the Post is doing more and more with each passing day, as the paper shrinks and they raise the price to 75 cents. Someone remind me why I'm still subscribing to this lousy excuse for a so-called newspaper...

Posted by: nunof1 | January 7, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

13 strikeouts and let's go the route

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS200508040.shtml

RIP John-John. You were an outrageous mf when you were on.

What a tragedy>

*crying*

Posted by: Brue | January 7, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

O.K, folks, nothing to see here, let's move along.

Posted by: BinM | January 7, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

jpsfanandproudofit, where was Patterson throwing? I remember he was with the Rangers for a bit last year, but I figured he was DFA'd. Do you know? Or anyone else, just figured I would give our resident Patterson Scholar a chance...

Posted by: NattyDelite | January 7, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought Texas released him after the season. They kept him for several months but it wasn't happening.

Posted by: Brue | January 7, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Very sporting, NattyD.

Catcher Jesus Flores
First Base Chris Marrero
Second Base Esmailyn Gonzalez
Third Base Ryan Zimmerman
Shortstop Cristian Guzman
Left Field Elijah Dukes
Center Field Lastings Milledge
Right Field Michael Burgess
No. 1 Starter Jordan Zimmerman
No. 2 Starter Ross Detwiler
No. 3 Starter Scott Olsen
No. 4 Starter Collin Balester
No. 5 Starter John Lannan
Closer Garrett Mock

This is the projected 2012 line up according to BA. I have to say it's a little depressing. What do others think? I see no lead off hitter. There might be a clean up hitter there, but it's a long shot. The defense is below average. On the plus side the rotation is pretty good, specially if you throw Strasburg in there. That's counting the proverbial chickens though.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 7, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

No way R. Zimmerman is with the Nats in 2012. He'll be long, long gone by then. Maybe Uncle Ted can talk Vinny Castilla out of retirement to plug the hole.

And, for what it's worth, guys, watch Chico get scooped on the Shawn Hill retirement announcement one year from today. Nerve damage, tired of the pain, blah-blah-blah, you wouldn't even have to change Patterson's quotes.

This you can take the bank: once a pitcher has a dead arm, he doesn't come back. Book it.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | January 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

But #4, isn't the whole thing a chicken-counting exercise? Assuming a college pitcher will be in the organization in 2012, let alone the majors, might be no more foolhardy than assuming all the fellows actually mentioned will be.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 7, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Instead of criticizing Chico, I thought I might actually comment on the item itself. I'm not convinced that Hill and Patterson are inn the same situation. Patterson was much more of a power pitcher, if he couldn't get into the mid 90's he couldn't succeed. If Hill can come back with control and remain in the low 90's he still has a chance to contribute. If nothing else they could slide him into a relief role at some point. I'm not giving up on him just yet. (The price is right for one thing.) I'm a little sad to see the end of Patterson. Sports is a cruel business.

Posted by: grforbes | January 7, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Gonzalez is supposed to be shaping up to be a lead-off. Good average, good OBP. I'd like to see more stolen bases. Also, these projected line-ups are pretty general.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 7, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

#4: I would have thought you knew better than to do a straight extrapolation of the Nationals current roster against a 'top-ten' list. Shame on you.

If the Nationals are like the majority of teams in MLB, between 8-15% of the 40-man roster turns over annually from various causes (FA, non-tenders, trades, etc). That means that upwards of 60% (24 of 40) of the players on the current roster are gone by the start of 2012 Spring Training.

The extrapolation also can't account for any acquisitions over the "gap" period (2009-2011).

Posted by: BinM | January 7, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

BinM:

That's not my extrapolating, it's Baseball America's. That's the 2012 line up they came up with.

I agree with your point about roster turnover. However, this is a useful exercise for this reason. Turnover on the 40 man roster happens in one of three ways: promotion from the low minors, trades, free agency. The first two require projectable talent in the system. This exercise shows that Nats dearth of that, at least with position players.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 7, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

BTW - TWT's baseball blog had the BA Nats prospects rankings at 6:33 p.m. YESTERDAY and a thorough followup analysis today. The NJ posting - sans any real analysis - ran at 2:54 p.m. today. NJ..."we don't get it so you don't get it."

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 7, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The similarity between Hill and Patterson was the mystery of their pain in the forearm. Neither could figure out where the heck the pain was coming from.

But the difference is it sounds like they were able to clean out some bone spurs and test that ulnar-thingy on Hill. It's the one hope I'm grasping onto to that keeps Hill from being Pattersoned.

Nice throwback NattyDelite.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 7, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

#4: That was from BA - YIKES! That's just posting junk & calling it analysis, imo. Sorry I accused you of the transgression.

Posted by: BinM | January 7, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

#4: There are more variables than just the three you mention - Injuries, Arbitration-eligible versus 'projected value', retirements, etc.

Furthermore, for BA to think that Guzman & Olsen will still be with the team in 2012 is ludicrous.

Posted by: BinM | January 7, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Jim PLEASE trade for Barton or Swisher then trade NJ please I love Nick but the injurys are so painful we never know when he will be hurt I think Barton could be the next NJ (without the injurys) with a little power great D and a very good eye and well I just have always liked Swisher you know great clubhouse guy plays extremly hard has some pop and really good D.

Posted by: j-dog1 | January 7, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Fahget about it. No team in there right mind would give up anything worth anything for NJ. I'd be shocked to learn otherwise. Opening day, playing first base, should he survive ST, will be Nick the stick Johnson.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 7, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I suppose I should insert the word 'brittle' before stick in above post.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 7, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Natty Delite asked about what happened to Patterson after he left the Nats. Mark Connor, the pitching coack with the Rangers,was Patterson's coach when he was first with the D-Backs. He called JP and asked him how his arm was. Jp told him what he thought was the truth at the time - that his arm was fine but he needed more time to build up his arm strength and velocity. The Rangers signed him to a minor league contract with a clause that if he was not in the majors by June 15th, he could ask for his release and sign with another team. They sent him to Surprise AZ for extended spring training, bringing him to Texas twice to throw bullpen sessions so they could check his progress and were very excited about how well he was doing. Around the first of May, he finally pitched in an extended spring training game and did well. In his second game, he was not happy with the way the ball was coming out of his hand and he had pain in his forearm. The Rangers immediately shut him down and sent him to the team doctor. It was determined that his arm was not yet completely healed and he was told to rest it for 6 months - no throwing, no lifting, no therapy, no hunting or fishing, etc. The Rangers then released him. In December he began throwing again and after 2 weeks he again had pain in his forearm. The question I have is, doesn't anyone know what is really wrong with his arm? His father was a pitcher in the Orioles organization and had to retire because of an arm injury - could it be hereditary? It is a real shame and I am very sad for him. We should all thank him for the wonderful games he gave us in that magical year of 2005.

jpsfanandproudofit

Posted by: OKGunfight | January 7, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Natty Delite asked where he was throwing and I forgot to answer. I don't know for sure, but I would assume that he was at home in Orange, Texas. That is where his permanent home is.

jpsfanandproudofit

Posted by: OKGunfight | January 7, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Fahget about it. No team in there right mind would give up anything worth anything for NJ. I'd be shocked to learn otherwise. Opening day, playing first base, should he survive ST, will be Nick the stick Johnson.
------------------------
I know NO one will probaly take him we wold of course have to trade for other prospects unless they like some like Willingham but your probaly right on the no one will take him but if you rember OAK was asking for his laundry list of medical reports so mabey we can package him but no way one for one swap we would have to probaly throw in a pitiching prospect

Posted by: j-dog1 | January 8, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Y'know, say what you want about Patterson, buy I for one can't feel anything but sad to hear the announcement, especially since it wasn't too surprising. You absolutely hate hearing about a guy with Patterson's stuff having to hang it up just 'cause his body can't keep up. Never think that pitchers don't pay a price to do what they do.

That being said, Patterson was a class guy, at least as far as I'm concerned. I actually ran into him this last Thanksgiving at a great Texas road stop, Buc-ees on I-10 near Luling. The funny thing is, it wasn't him I noticed first, it was his wife, Shannon (Miss D.C. 2005, for those that don't remember). She was wearing a Nats shirt, and the total weirdness of seeing someone at Buc-ees sporting the curly W was what first caught my eye. I think I said something like, "Whoa, the Nats!" and she smiled and looked over at the guy standing next to her and of course it's Patty.

Long story short, he was really nice, shook my hand, took the compliments. I didn't try to keep him long, and I didn't ask him about his arm. They walked off to buy their stuff, and I walked off and tried not to look like too much of a dork while pointing them out to my wife. The whole run-in turned out to be the surprise highlight of the holiday.

So yeah, sad news about Patty. Here's to hopin' that he lands on his feet.

Posted by: beardo1 | January 8, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

"There are more variables than just the three you mention - Injuries, Arbitration-eligible versus 'projected value', retirements, etc.

Furthermore, for BA to think that Guzman & Olsen will still be with the team in 2012 is ludicrous."

Posted by: BinM | January 7, 2009 10:04 PM

I feel like I'm approaching "Johnny-one-note" status on the state on the farm system, so I promise this will be my last post on it.

The point I have perhaps clumsily been trying to make for the past two weeks is that talent just doesn't appear out of thin air - except perhaps for signing a free agent. In other words the aggregate talent in one's organization has to exist in order to have/acquire the pieces that eventually make a team a champion. Calling for Swisher, Barton, Kila is nice, but the Nats don't have enough commodities yet to get them without devastating an already fragile system. BinM, the variables you point out are true but have nothing to do with acquiring or promoting talent. I'd also add that we've seen in recent weeks that already having acknowledged talent in your organization goes a long way toward attracting FAs.

The fact that BA includes Olsen and Guzman, particularly the latter, is a sign that the Nats have little in the pipeline. By placing Guzman at SS, they are saying that they see no other alternative in the system currently. They can't just make up a FA signing or trade.

The only possibility I suppose is that JimBo's plan to flip the excess of pitching for position players will come to fruition. I just don't see the EXCESS of pitching yet. It's pretty good but not overly abundant.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 8, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

That's it. Those lineups BA provides aren't literal predictions of who's where. It's just a short way of looking at an organization's depth chart and saying, "if everything breaks right, here's where players will be in a few seasons."

It's pretty clear the Nats don't have a lot of MI depth, and Smiley's going to need to keep on coming on strong. But other than him... well... there's not much... yet.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | January 8, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I think your overall point is good, #4, that what's there in three years will be in large part a function of what's there now.

Anyway, it's new post time.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'd hope a farm expert would pipe in here, but BA tends to look towards athletic potential more than projecting from performance track record. I wonder if they a selling Danny Espinosa short. Last year's #3/4/5 or so (I don't remember the draft board). He had a good short season in Vermont (.328 / .476 / .359), will turn 22 in April, and went to Long Beach State. IIRC, Long Beach has turned out some good infielders recently. No power, it looks like. Let's see how far up the system he rises this year. Where did they place him in the top 30?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to jp's fan for the background and to beardo1 for the anecdote.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 8, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Espinosa was a late signee, and his 4 HRs were in 19 games. Was gong to play in the FLA instructional league. How'd he do?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 8, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I am saddened by the news (and no worse for the wear by the timing of receiving it). It's always a bummer when you find that you can no longer do the thing that you thrive on. (I guess it's like if NatsNut found he could no longer whine incessantly about this blog, imposing his misery and misguided sense of how the world should be on the rest of us. How tragic that would be. O, how tragic.)

Posted by: mike8 | January 8, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"I'm relatively certain that it is easy to be scooped when the guy who scoops you is the one who received the phone call."
--------

It's seems pretty logical that an important part of journalism is building such relationships so that YOU are THE ONE who receives the call. This isn't another MLB.com propaganda conspiracy.

Posted by: jctichen | January 8, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Dang, too bad about JP.

My favorite memory is watching his 11 strikeouts against the Marlins on TV not too long after Comcast caved in to MASN and started airing Nats games.

Posted by: Juan-John | January 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

What a bummer about John. Pretty obvious that he and Bill Ladson go back aways - I'm just sorry that he could not recover to resume his pitching. When he had that curveball working in '05 it reminded me a bit of the curve Tippy Martinez used to throw.

He was someone we hung our early hopes on to be sure.

Oh, for all you 'challenged' fans out there giving up your season seats, whining incessantly about the team (Great Post Section406 | January 7, 2009 6:36 PM) I thought I'd mention a few things about patience.

Let's start with the Mets:
1962: 40-120
1963: 51-111
1964: 53-109
1965: 50-112
1966: 66-95
1967: 61-101

That's six years of losing baseball folks. 5 years of 6 with more than 100 losses. I mention this because although they drafted their existing players at the time, they did not have a minor league system, I think similar to our situation.

I strongly urge you all to read the wiki on the Expos under the section Purchase by Major League Baseball

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Expos

and be reminded what MLB and Jeff Loria did to this team. It is astounding. Be reminded, our ownership group is not even 1000 days old yet, we don't own our TV rights, Comcast didn't start broadcasting games at all until 9/06...

We'll get there folks - but we have to GO TO THE GAMES and support this team!

Farewell John - we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: dand187 | January 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I love baseball, but really -- people are getting depressed over the putative 2012 lineup?

You've got to be kidding.

Posted by: Meridian1 | January 12, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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